Research Interests: Neurobiology of Olfactory Perception, Memory and Hedonics; Neurobiology of Memory Sensory Physiology, Neurodegenerative Disease and Sensation; Ontogeny of Emotion
One of the key questions of modern neurobiology is how activity within defined neural circuits contributes to behavior, and how experience shapes those circuits. Work from my lab has emphasized a multidisciplinary approach to this question utilizing relatively simple behavioral assays tied to functional analyses of single-unit, synaptic, and local circuit activity underlying those behaviors. The work has focused on the olfactory system and how this system functions both in healthy and pathological states (e.g., Alzheimer’s Disease, autism, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder). This work not only provides fresh insights into how the olfactory system and its monosynaptic partners function as larger networks to shape odor perception, but also may suggest how disease states could lead to degradation of odor perception. The laboratory actively involves undergraduates, graduate and post-doctoral researchers in this work.